Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
Paper Count: 13

Search results for: archeology

13 Epigenetic and Archeology: A Quest to Re-Read Humanity

Authors: Salma A. Mahmoud

Abstract:

Epigenetic, or alteration in gene expression influenced by extragenetic factors, has emerged as one of the most promising areas that will address some of the gaps in our current knowledge in understanding patterns of human variation. In the last decade, the research investigating epigenetic mechanisms in many fields has flourished and witnessed significant progress. It paved the way for a new era of integrated research especially between anthropology/archeology and life sciences. Skeletal remains are considered the most significant source of information for studying human variations across history, and by utilizing these valuable remains, we can interpret the past events, cultures and populations. In addition to archeological, historical and anthropological importance, studying bones has great implications in other fields such as medicine and science. Bones also can hold within them the secrets of the future as they can act as predictive tools for health, society characteristics and dietary requirements. Bones in their basic forms are composed of cells (osteocytes) that are affected by both genetic and environmental factors, which can only explain a small part of their variability. The primary objective of this project is to examine the epigenetic landscape/signature within bones of archeological remains as a novel marker that could reveal new ways to conceptualize chronological events, gender differences, social status and ecological variations. We attempted here to address discrepancies in common variants such as methylome as well as novel epigenetic regulators such as chromatin remodelers, which to our best knowledge have not yet been investigated by anthropologists/ paleoepigenetists using plethora of techniques (biological, computational, and statistical). Moreover, extracting epigenetic information from bones will highlight the importance of osseous material as a vector to study human beings in several contexts (social, cultural and environmental), and strengthen their essential role as model systems that can be used to investigate and construct various cultural, political and economic events. We also address all steps required to plan and conduct an epigenetic analysis from bone materials (modern and ancient) as well as discussing the key challenges facing researchers aiming to investigate this field. In conclusion, this project will serve as a primer for bioarcheologists/anthropologists and human biologists interested in incorporating epigenetic data into their research programs. Understanding the roles of epigenetic mechanisms in bone structure and function will be very helpful for a better comprehension of their biology and highlighting their essentiality as interdisciplinary vectors and a key material in archeological research.

Keywords: epigenetics, archeology, bones, chromatin, methylome

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12 Age Estimation Using Destructive and Non-Destructive Dental Methods on an Archeological Human Sample from the Poor Claire Nunnery in Brussels, Belgium

Authors: Pilar Cornejo Ulloa, Guy Willems, Steffen Fieuws, Kim Quintelier, Wim Van Neer, Patrick Thevissen

Abstract:

Dental age estimation can be performed both in living and deceased individuals. In anthropology, few studies have tested the reliability of dental age estimation methods complementary to the usually applied osteological methods. Objectives: In this study, destructive and non-destructive dental age estimation methods were applied on an archeological sample in order to compare them with the previously obtained anthropological age estimates. Materials and Methods: One hundred and thirty-four teeth from 24 individuals were analyzed using Kvaal, Kvaal and Solheim, Bang and Ramm, Lamendin, Gustafson, Maples, Dalitz and Johanson’s methods. Results: A high variability and wider age ranges than the ones previously obtained by the anthropologist could be observed. Destructive methods had a slightly higher agreement than the non-destructive. Discussion: Due to the heterogeneity of the sample and the lack of the real age at death, the obtained results were not representative, and it was not possible to suggest one dental age estimation method over another.

Keywords: archeology, dental age estimation, forensic anthropology, forensic dentistry

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11 Integration of Resistivity and Seismic Refraction Using Combine Inversion for Ancient River Findings at Sungai Batu, Lembah Bujang, Malaysia

Authors: Rais Yusoh, Rosli Saad, Mokhtar Saidin, Fauzi Andika, Sabiu Bala Muhammad

Abstract:

Resistivity and seismic refraction profiling have become a common method in pre-investigations for visualizing subsurface structure. The integration of the methods could reduce an interpretation ambiguity. Both methods have their individual software packages for data inversion, but potential to combine certain geophysical methods are restricted; however, the research algorithms that have this functionality was existed and are evaluated personally. The interpretation of subsurface were improve by combining inversion data from both methods by influence each other models using closure coupling; thus, by implementing both methods to support each other which could improve the subsurface interpretation. These methods were applied on a field dataset from a pre-investigation for archeology in finding the ancient river. There were no major changes in the inverted model by combining data inversion for this archetype which probably due to complex geology. The combine data analysis provides an additional technique for interpretation such as an alluvium, which can have strong influence on the ancient river findings.

Keywords: ancient river, combine inversion, resistivity, seismic refraction

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10 Significance of Preservation of Cultural Resources: A Case of Walled City of Lahore as a Micro-Destination

Authors: Menaahyl Seraj, Gokce Ozdemir

Abstract:

Tourism at destinations is dependent on various resources such as archeology and architecture. The need to preserve those resources is of the utmost importance when long-term tourism development is aimed. Shahi Guzargah (Royal Trail) was subject to a preservation project that is a linear historical passage within the Walled City of Lahore. Even though Lahore with its congested streets, lacks proper infrastructure and economically weak but yet it has the potential of transforming it into a tourist destination. This study highlights the potential hidden in the preservation of cultural resources through proper and concrete planning of living heritage city, and how it improves socio-economic standards of the community and affects tourism. Semi-structured open-ended interview question-forms were used to collect qualitative data from 14 respective stakeholders of the walled city and 10 concerned officials. The results of the study show that the preservation of cultural resources impacts and accelerates positively the development process of a destination. All opinions and gathered information reflect the importance of cultural preservation and its effect on increasing tourism.

Keywords: cultural tourism, cultural resources, destination, preservation

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9 Application of GPR for Prospection in Two Archaeological Sites at Aswan Area, Egypt

Authors: Abbas Mohamed Abbas, Raafat El-Shafie Fat-Helbary, Karrar Omar El Fergawy, Ahmed Hamed Sayed

Abstract:

The exploration in archaeological area requires non-invasive methods, and hence the Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) technique is a proper candidate for this task. GPR investigation is widely applied for searching for hidden ancient targets. So, in this paper GPR technique has been used in archaeological investigation. The aim of this study was to obtain information about the subsurface and associated structures beneath two selected sites at the western bank of the River Nile at Aswan city. These sites have archaeological structures of different ages starting from 6thand 12th Dynasties to the Greco-Roman period. The first site is called Nag’ El Gulab, the study area was 30 x 16 m with separating distance 2m between each profile, while the second site is Nag’ El Qoba, the survey method was not in grid but in lines pattern with different lengths. All of these sites were surveyed by GPR model SIR-3000 with antenna 200 MHz. Beside the processing of each profile individually, the time-slice maps have been conducted Nag’ El Gulab site, to view the amplitude changes in a series of horizontal time slices within the ground. The obtained results show anomalies may interpret as presence of associated tombs structures. The probable tombs structures similar in their depth level to the opened tombs in the studied areas.

Keywords: ground penetrating radar, archeology, Nag’ El Gulab, Nag’ El Qoba

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8 Glimpses into the History of Makkah in the Light of Archaeological Finds

Authors: Heba Aboul-Enein

Abstract:

The blessed Mecca (Makkah) has been attacked as a city without a pre-Islamic history. Many claims have been posited denying the historicity of this holy city, and mythicizing Arabic historical records. Hence, the current paper attempted to shed light on this controversial history of Makkah. To achieve the intended objective, the study recoursed to archaeological, historical, and linguistic evidence, to prove that the holy city existed since the dawn of human history. The data under study include the results of recent excavations; archaeological surveys in Saudi Arabia, academic works of archaeologists, newspaper reports of the latest archaeological discoveries, and the findings of Saudi explorers. In addition, the study examined ancient and contemporary references; western accounts of Makkah, the bible, Jewish, Christian, Islamic, and Arabic references, in an effort to reconcile these texts with the archeological findings. The paper also reviewed the latest results of aerial archeology of the region. The study proved based on archaeological finds, and contrary to fallacious claims, that Makkah is an ancient city that existed and was inhabited by humans in varied historical eras.

Keywords: aerial archaeology, archaeological finds in the Makkan region, archaeological surveys, Western, Jewish and Islamic accounts of Makkah

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7 Beyond the White Cube: A Study on the Site Specific Curatorial Practice of Kochi Muziris Biennale

Authors: Girish Chandran, Milu Tigi

Abstract:

Brian O'Doherty's seminal essay, Inside the white Cube theorized and named the dominant mode of display and exhibition of Modern Art museums. Ever since the advent of Biennales and other site-specific public art projects we have seen a departure from the white cube mode of exhibition. The physicality, materiality and context within which an artwork is framed has a role in the production of meaning of public art. Equally, artworks contribute to the meaning and identity of a place. This to and fro relationship between the site and artwork and its influence on the sense of place and production of meaning is being explored in this paper in the context of Kochi Muziris Biennale (KMB). Known as the Peoples biennale with over 5 lakh visitors, it is India's first Biennale and its largest art exhibition of contemporary art. The paper employs place theory and contemporary curatorial theories to present the case. The KMB has an interesting mix of exhibition spaces which includes existing galleries and halls, site-specific projects in public spaces, infill developments and adaptive reuse of heritage and other unused architecture. The biennale was envisioned as an event connecting to the history, socio-political peculiarities of the cultural landscape of Kerala and more specifically Kochi. The paper explains the role of spatial elements in forming a curatorial narrative connected to the above mentioned ambitions.The site-specific nature of exhibition and its use of unused architecture helps in the formation of exhibition spaces unique in type and materiality. The paper argues how this helps in the creation of an 'archeology of the place'. The research elucidates how a composite nature of experience helps connect with the thematic ambitions of the Biennale and how it brings about an aesthetics distinct to KMB.

Keywords: public art, curatorial practice, architecture, place, contemporary art, site specificity

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6 Following the Caravans: Interdisciplinary Study to Integrate Chinese and African Relations in Ethiopia

Authors: E. Mattio

Abstract:

The aim of this project is to study the Chinese presence in Ethiopia, following the path of the last salt caravans from Danakil to Tigray region. Official estimates of the number of Chinese in Africa vary widely; on the continent, there are increasingly diverse groups of Chinese migrants in terms of language, dialect, class, education, and employment. Based on this and on a very general state of the art, it was decided to increase the studies on this phenomenon, documenting the extraction of salt and following the sellers in the north of the country. The project is unique and allows you to admire a landscape that will soon change, due to the construction of infrastructure that is changing the dynamics of movement and sales. To carry out this study, interdisciplinary investigation methods were integrated, such as landscape archeology, historiographic research, participatory anthropology, geopolitics, and cultural anthropology and ethnology. There are two main objectives of the research. The first was an analysis of risk perceptions to predict what will happen to these populations and how the territory will be modified, trying to monitor the growth of infrastructure in the country and the effects it will have on the population. Thanks to the use of GIS, some roads created by Chinese companies that worked in the area have been georeferenced. The second point was to document the life and rituals of Ethiopian populations, in order not to lose the aspects of uniqueness that risk being lost. The local interviews have garnered impressions and criticisms from the local population to understand whether the Chinese presence is perceived as a threat or a solution. Among the most exclusive interviews, there are those made to Afar leaders in the Logya area and some Coptic representatives in the Wukro area. To make this project even more unique, the Coptic rituals of Gennà and Timkat have been documented, unique expressions of a millennial tradition. The aim was to understand whether the Maoist presence began to influence the religious rites and forms of belief present in the country.

Keywords: China, Ethiopia, GIS, risk perceptions

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5 Assessment Proposal to Establish the First Geo-Park in Egypt at Abu-Roash Area, Cairo

Authors: Kholoud Abdelmaksoud, Mahmoud Emam, Wael Al-Metwaly

Abstract:

Egypt is known as cradle of civilization due to its ancient history and archeological sites, but Egypt possess also a cradle of Geo-sites, which qualify it to be listed as one of the most important Geo-heritage sites all over the country. Geology and landscape in Abu-Roash area is considered as one of the most important geological places (geo-sites) inside Cairo which help us to know and understand geology and geologic processes, so the area is used mainly for geological education purposes, also the area contain an archeological sites; pyramid complex, tombs, and Coptic monastery which give the area unique importance. Abu-Roash area is located inside Cairo 9 km north of the Giza Pyramids, which make the accessibility to the area easy and safe, the geology of Abu-Roash constitutes a complex Cretaceous sedimentary succession mass with showing outstanding tectonic features (Syrian Arc system event), these features are considered as a Geo-heritage, which will be the main designation of ‘Geo-parks’ establishing. The research is dealing with the numerous geo-sites found in the area, and its geologic and archeological importance, the relation between geo-sites and archeology, also the research proposed a detailed maps for these sites depicting Geo-routes and the hazardous places surrounding Abu-Roash area. The research is proposing a new proposal not applied in Egypt before, establishing a Geo-park, to promote this unique geo-heritage from hazardous factors and anthropogenic effects, also it will offer geo-educational opportunities to the general public and to the scientific community, enhancement of Geo-tourism which will be linked easily with the Ancient Egyptian tourism, it will also provide a significant economic benefit to Abu-Roash residential area. Finally, the research recommends that The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organizations promote conservation of geological and geo-morphological heritage to list this area for its importance under the umbrella of geo-parks.

Keywords: geo-park, geo-sites, Abu-roash, archaeological sites, geo-tourism

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4 Comparing the Apparent Error Rate of Gender Specifying from Human Skeletal Remains by Using Classification and Cluster Methods

Authors: Jularat Chumnaul

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In forensic science, corpses from various homicides are different; there are both complete and incomplete, depending on causes of death or forms of homicide. For example, some corpses are cut into pieces, some are camouflaged by dumping into the river, some are buried, some are burned to destroy the evidence, and others. If the corpses are incomplete, it can lead to the difficulty of personally identifying because some tissues and bones are destroyed. To specify gender of the corpses from skeletal remains, the most precise method is DNA identification. However, this method is costly and takes longer so that other identification techniques are used instead. The first technique that is widely used is considering the features of bones. In general, an evidence from the corpses such as some pieces of bones, especially the skull and pelvis can be used to identify their gender. To use this technique, forensic scientists are required observation skills in order to classify the difference between male and female bones. Although this technique is uncomplicated, saving time and cost, and the forensic scientists can fairly accurately determine gender by using this technique (apparently an accuracy rate of 90% or more), the crucial disadvantage is there are only some positions of skeleton that can be used to specify gender such as supraorbital ridge, nuchal crest, temporal lobe, mandible, and chin. Therefore, the skeletal remains that will be used have to be complete. The other technique that is widely used for gender specifying in forensic science and archeology is skeletal measurements. The advantage of this method is it can be used in several positions in one piece of bones, and it can be used even if the bones are not complete. In this study, the classification and cluster analysis are applied to this technique, including the Kth Nearest Neighbor Classification, Classification Tree, Ward Linkage Cluster, K-mean Cluster, and Two Step Cluster. The data contains 507 particular individuals and 9 skeletal measurements (diameter measurements), and the performance of five methods are investigated by considering the apparent error rate (APER). The results from this study indicate that the Two Step Cluster and Kth Nearest Neighbor method seem to be suitable to specify gender from human skeletal remains because both yield small apparent error rate of 0.20% and 4.14%, respectively. On the other hand, the Classification Tree, Ward Linkage Cluster, and K-mean Cluster method are not appropriate since they yield large apparent error rate of 10.65%, 10.65%, and 16.37%, respectively. However, there are other ways to evaluate the performance of classification such as an estimate of the error rate using the holdout procedure or misclassification costs, and the difference methods can make the different conclusions.

Keywords: skeletal measurements, classification, cluster, apparent error rate

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3 The Textual Criticism on the Age of ‘Wan Li’ Shipwreck Porcelain and Its Comparison with ‘Whitte Leeuw’ and Hatcher Shipwreck Porcelain

Authors: Yang Liu, Dongliang Lyu

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After the Wan li shipwreck was discovered 60 miles off the east coast of Tan jong Jara in Malaysia, numerous marvelous ceramic shards have been salvaged from the seabed. Remarkable pieces of Jing dezhen blue-and-white porcelain recovered from the site represent the essential part of the fascinating research. The porcelain cargo of Wan li shipwreck is significant to the studies on exported porcelains and Jing dezhen porcelain manufacture industry of Late-Ming dynasty. Using the ceramic shards categorization and the study of the Chinese and Western historical documents as a research strategy, the paper wants to shed new light on the Wan li shipwreck wares classification with Jingdezhen kiln ceramic as its main focus. The article is also discussing Jing dezhen blue-and-white porcelains from the perspective of domestic versus export markets and further proceeding to the systematization and analyses of Wan li shipwreck porcelain which bears witness to the forms, styles, and types of decoration that were being traded in this period. The porcelain data from two other shipwrecked projects -White Leeuw and Hatcher- were chosen as comparative case studies and Wan li shipwreck Jing dezhen blue-and-white porcelain is being reinterpreted in the context of art history and archeology of the region. The marine archaeologist Sten Sjostrand named the ship ‘Wanli shipwreck’ because its porcelain cargoes are typical of those made during the reign of Emperor Wan li of Ming dynasty. Though some scholars question the appropriateness of the name, the final verdict of the history is still to be made. Based on previous historical argumentation, the article uses a comparative approach to review the Wan li shipwreck blue-and-white porcelains on the grounds of the porcelains unearthed from the tomb or abandoned in the towns and carrying the time-specific reign mark. All these materials provide a very strong evidence which suggests that the porcelain recovered from Wan li ship can be dated to as early as the second year of Tianqi era (1622) and early Chongzhen reign. Lastly, some blue-and-white porcelain intended for the domestic market and some bowls of blue-and-white porcelain from Jing dezhen kilns recovered from the Wan li shipwreck all carry at the bottom the specific residue from the firing process. The author makes the corresponding analysis for these two interesting phenomena.

Keywords: blue-and-white porcelain, Ming dynasty, Jing dezhen kiln, Wan li shipwreck

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2 Sustainable Concepts Applied in the Pre-Columbian Andean Architecture in Southern Ecuador

Authors: Diego Espinoza-Piedra, David Duran

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All architectural and land use processes are framed in a cultural, social and geographical context. The present study analyzes the Andean culture before the Spanish conquest in southern Ecuador, in the province of Azuay. This area has been habited for more than 10.000 years. The Canari and the Inca cultures occupied Azuay close to the arrival of the Spanish conquers. The Inca culture was settled in the Andes Mountains. The Canari culture was established in the south of Ecuador, on the actual provinces of Azuay and Canar. In contrast with history and archeology, to the best of our knowledge, their architecture has not yet been studied in this area because of the lack of architectural structures. Consequently, the present research reviewed the land use and culture for architectonic interpretations. The two main architectural objects in these cultures were dwellings and public buildings. In the first case, housing was conceived as temporary. It had to stand as long as its inhabitants lived. Therefore, houses were built when a couple got married. The whole community started the construction through the so-called ‘minga’ or collective work. The construction materials were tree branches, reeds, agave, ground, and straw. So that when their owners aged and then died, this house was easily disarmed and overthrown. Their materials become part of the land for agriculture. Finally, this cycle was repeated indefinitely. In the second case, the buildings, which we can call public, have presented erroneous interpretations. They have been defined as temples. But according to our conclusions, they were places for temporary accommodation, storage of objects and products, and in some special cases, even astronomical observatories. These public buildings were settled along the important road system called ‘Capac-Nam’, currently declared by UNESCO as World Cultural Heritage. The buildings had different scales at regular distances. Also, they were established in special or strategic places, which constituted a system of observatories. These observatories allowed to determine the cycles or calendars (solar or lunar) necessary for the agricultural production, as well as other natural phenomena. Most of the current minimal existence of physical structures in quantity and state of conservation is at the level of foundations or pieces of walls. Therefore, this study was realized after the identification of the history and culture of the inhabitants of this Andean region.

Keywords: Andean, pre-Colombian architecture, Southern Ecuador, sustainable

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1 The Latest Salt Caravans: The Chinese Presence between Danakil and Tigray: Interdisciplinary Study to Integrate Chinese and African Relations in Ethiopia: Analyzing Road Evolution and Ethnographic Contexts

Authors: Erika Mattio

Abstract:

The aim of this project is to study the Chinese presence in Ethiopia, in the area between the Saba River and the Coptic areas of the Tigray, with detailed documentation of the Danakil region, from which the salt pickers caravans departed; the study was created to understand the relationships and consequences of the Chinese advance in these areas, inhabited by tribes linked to ancient, still practiced religious rituals, and home to unique landscapes and archaeological sites. Official estimates of the number of Chinese in Africa vary widely; on the continent, there are increasingly diverse groups of Chinese migrants in terms of language, dialect, class, education, and employment. Based on this and on a very general state of the art, it was decided to increase the studies on this phenomenon, focusing the attention on one of the most interesting countries for its diversity, cultural wealth, and for strong Chinese presence: Ethiopia. The study will be integrated with interdisciplinary investigation methods, such as landscape archeology, historiographic research, participatory anthropology, geopolitics, and cultural anthropology and ethnology. There are two main objectives of the research. The first is to predict what will happen to these populations and how the territory will be modified, trying to monitor the growth of infrastructure in the country and the effects it will have on the population. Risk analyzes will be carried out to understand what the foreign presence may entail, such as the absence of sustenance for local populations, the ghettoization of foreigners, unemployment of natives and the exodus of the population to the capital; the relationships between families and the local population will be analyzed, trying to understand the dynamics of socialization and interaction. Thanks to the use of GIS, the areas affected by the Chinese presence will be geo-referenced and mapped, delimiting the areas most affected and creating a risk analysis, both in desert areas and in archaeologically and historically relevant areas. The second point is to document the life and rituals of Ethiopian populations in order not to lose the aspects of uniqueness that risk being lost. Local interviews will collect impressions and criticisms from the local population to understand if the Chinese presence is perceived as a threat or as a solution. Furthermore, Afar leaders in the Logya area will be interviewed, in truly exclusive research, to understand their links with the foreign presence. From the north, along the Saba river, we will move to the northwest, in the Tigray region, to know the impressions in the Coptic area, currently less threatened by the Chinese presence but still affected by urbanization proposals. There will also be documented the Coptic rituals of Gennà and Timkat, unique expressions of a millennial tradition. This will allow the understanding of whether the Maoist presence could influence the religious rites and forms of belief present in the country, or the country will maintain its cultural independence.

Keywords: Ethiopia, GIS, risk perceptions, salt caravans

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